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A to B: Overcoming Obstacles with Parkour


My name is Joseph, I'm a practitioner of the art of movement, also known as Parkour.  I think I, like many other people, have had my experiences with depression. There was experiences growing up where I had to face and overcome obstacles and overcome times in my life that seemed as if there was no way out. 
I found Parkour senior year of high school and freshman year of college. For me, I was immediately attracted to the movement aspect of it. So just that it was something that looked cool.  At that time in my life I didn't have much direction. I was confused, I didn't know what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be. As I began to practice, I realized that there is a mental aspect to it. Parkour is a holistic discipline because it trains not just your physical body, but your mind and your spirit as well. The obstacle of Parkour is to become strong for others. You're becoming stronger for yourself so you are strong enough to help others. So that you can show them and lead the way through the path that you have gone through. And I think the same thing could be said about life.
In Parkour, we train to overcome obstacles, to always rise above ourselves both physically and mentally. Those times when you're doing another push-up or another pull-up, or one more exercise and you can't think you can go any further, but you dig deep and you remember why you're doing it. I'm doing it so that I can be strong enough. So that when I'm needed, or someone else needs me, I can be able to rise to that challenge. To overcome that obstacle. To do that you need to be humble with yourself. You need to be able to analyze yourself. You need to be able to look at yourself, to be able to be truthful. When you're able to do that, you gain a sense of peace and calmness with yourself. And then you realize since you have this confidence, since you have the ability to overcome these obstacles, you can then apply that to the obstacle ahead. So you're undaunted by what lies before you. And that is what allows you to break through. And to rise above yourself. It's the same for overcoming obstacles in life. Because you gain self-confidence, you gain self-assurance, and you gain a knowledge of yourself.
I think an important thing to realize is that my experience by itself is not a singular one. Many people have gone through the same things and worse, or have overcome obstacles themselves. And for me it was Parkour. Parkour is my engine of growth. It is what taught me about myself. It is how I learned to conquer myself and to apply myself. And to fulfill myself and to work towards my full potential. And though Parkour was my method for doing that, it doesn't need to be Parkour. It needs to be something that works for you. Something that you respond to. Something that you can give yourself to. And by pursuing that, you're going to learn about yourself and you're going to learn about life. You're going to love life.